Have you ever picked up a book… and not been able to put it down until you had finished every last cliff hanger, every nail-biting page? Bestselling Australian author, Matthew Reilly has said that his books are a direct response to the Hollywood action movie genre, except in his case, his ‘budget’ is only limited by his imagination. One online fan commented that when you read Matthew Reilly’s books you feel like you are reading a script for some new videogame because there is so much over the top action.

 Matthew Reilly has an undeniable knack for incorporating history, international politics, conspiracy theories, religious cults, top secret military operations, and weaponry, into ridiculously well-developed plotlines. Which are usually linked to some type of seemingly unstoppable apocalyptic threat!

 The amount of times that I have literally gone to throw the book at the wall after reading that my favourite characters have walked into yet another ‘no hope of getting out alive’ situation… ridiculous!

Matthew Reilly started out by self-publishing his first novel, Contest, in 1998, his only science fiction novel. It features an intergalactic, alien, gladiator-style battle to the death through the New York State Library.

His other standalone novel was Temple, uniquely featuring a double storyline – one running in the present, with linguistics Professor Race trying to locate a rare Idol which could start a catastrophic weapon if found by the wrong people. The other detailing an adventure during the Spanish conquest of the Incas in 1535.

And in Hell Island, he is attacked by gorillas, enhanced with a nanotechnology implant in their brains turning them into soldiers.

The first of Matthew Reilly’s popular characters is Captain Shane Schofield, code name: “Scarecrow” a marine, with a legendary reputation, best known for his high-risk tactical manoeuvres, loyalty, and quick thinking.

He has had many adventures, from Ice Station where he is sent in to secure a ‘so-called’ alien spacecraft, to Area 7 where he has to protect the President, and save the world. He learns he is one of fifteen names on an international bounty hunt list, in ‘Scarecrow’, with his head being valued at $18.6 million.

Last year, 2011, Matthew Reilly’s latest novel, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves was the biggest-selling fiction title in Australia. The Army of Theives being a well munitioned, well funded terrorist group full of escapees from the worlds deadliest prisons. They deploy a ‘scorched earth’ weapon that, when fired, will ignite the atmosphere and trigger a firestorm that could annihilate the entire northern hemisphere.

They don’t want money, they don’t want anything, they just want the world to burn.

While Scarecrow is obviously THE MAN, The Jack West Jr series is by FAR my favourite.

An experienced, Australian Armed Forces, Iraqi War veteran who retires to study archaeology. He has a bionic arm, after his own was burnt off in an ancient volcano trap, when saving his adopted daughter, Lily, from a crazy sun cult. He also has a loyal falcon, Horus, who is in invaluable member of the team.

US television network, ABC, has purchased the right to the first Jack West Jr novel, calling it ‘The Seven Wonders’. It is being produced by the people who created Criminal Minds, and is being sold as ‘similar’ to Indiana Jones and National Treasure.

The Jack West Jr novels are titled, The Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, and The Five Greatest Warriors. And if you are into freemason conspiracy theories, like the DaVinci Code, then this is the series for you! Avoiding booby traps, deciphering ancient treasure maps, racing against time, and the bad guys, to stop the end of the world, as we know it!

Be aware that Matthew Reilly does take SOME creative license, to the point where some of his more skeptical, seemingly ‘educated’ readers get quite annoyed, leaving angry messages on almost every forum on the internet. As someone who has pretty much NO complex scientific knowledge, I saw through the minor changes to historic and current world events, science, physics in particular, and religious ideologies, to read the novels for what they are, great stories.

Pick up any of Matthew Reilly’s 11 novels, at your local bookshop today! And just a hint, they are usually in the ‘Dad’ section in the bookshop!

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